12:00pm Monday 7th January 2002
Bradford Park Avenue's chairman Frank Thornton feels his club may once more have to play outside the city.
Reacting to the news that Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Rugby Football Club will ground-share at the newly developed Odsal Stadium from 2003, he said: "Maybe the future of Bradford Park Avenue is not in Bradford, and that is very sad. I am a bit niggled about it all because I am a Bradfordian, and we are among the top 200 soccer clubs in the country, and the Bulls are going in with a team from Wakefield, which to me is not reasonable.
"But needs must at the end of the day, and we may have to look outside the city.
"Our vice-chairman Bob Robinson spoke to the Bulls chairman Chris Caisley in November and was quoted £10,000 merely to open the gates at the new stadium.
"We cannot afford that, and I doubt that there are many clubs that could afford that.
"At the moment I am writing a letter to Bradford Council about the situation.
"We are in the UniBond League Premier Division and cannot wait for when we get promotion to the Conference before we start talking to Odsal's owners.
"The Conference League would want to look at where we would be playing before the promotion season finishes, and we already know that our current home of Horsfall Stadium is not up to Conference standard.
"In fact, there was some doubt about whether it was good enough for UniBond standard."
Bulls boss Mr Caisley said: "Bradford Park Avenue have a very good tidy little ground at Horsfall, and the new stadium at Odsal will be the only purpose-built stadium for rugby league and rugby union in the North of England.
"I spoke to one of the Avenue men before Christmas and I quoted him ten per cent of gate receipts or £10,000 to £15,000 to open the gates - whichever is the lesser.
"But I don't see the need for urgency about Avenue, though I'm happy to talk to them."
Once Avenue began their serious bid to regain their Football League status, which they lost in 1970, they played a few matches at their ancestral home and at Manningham Mills prior to moving to Bramley Rugby League Club (McLaren Field) and then Batley Rugby League Club (Mount Pleasant).
Thornton added: "Horsfall, where we've been at Horsfall for five years, is ideal for redevelopment.
"It only has housing on one side, a cemetery on another and some football pitches and a cricket pitch on the other two sides.
"It would have been nice to have played with the Bulls at Odsal as we come from the same roots and the traditional colours of both clubs are red, amber and black."
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